Through the UEP Public Art Plan, Calgary has undertaken a visionary adventure of integrating public art and utility infrastructure to promote understanding and awareness of our surrounding watersheds, while contributing to the ever-growing collection of outstanding art in our city.
About the plan
In early 2006, in accordance with the Public Art Policy, the Department of Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) began planning the expenditure of their eligible public art money, which totals approximately $7 million (between 2004 - 2010) for art projects, design, and related educational programming. Given the scope and complexity of this opportunity, it was decided that a comprehensive strategy was required to guide the expenditure of these funds in a strategic and cohesive manner.
Believed to be the first of its kind in North America, the Utilities and Environmental Protection Public Art Plan is founded on the principle that public art, in collaboration with other disciplines, can create remarkable places that encourage sustainability and stewardship of the environment. The Plan also represents a key component of the Public Art Program's mission to guide the evolution of a distinct and vibrant artistic character for the city’s public places.
The best artists - local, regional, national and international - will be commissioned for projects, attracted by unique opportunities ranging from large-scale permanent installations to ephemeral projects on the Bow River.
Both permanent and temporary projects will continuously engage and inform citizens of their relationship to the watershed, and create a strong identity for The City as an environmentally-conscious member of the community.
The Plan also capitalizes on the City's excellent environmental record as steward of the Bow River and ensures the public art and infrastructure projects that are part of the Plan will enhance and preserve this legacy. As the projects are implemented, they will position Calgary as a imaginative and inspired city with regard to art, infrastructure, and environmental stewardship.
For more information on the Utilities and Environmental Protection Public Art Plan, contact the Public Art Program.